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Tips and Tricks for Expats

Tips and Tricks for Expats
Online Shopping

Tips and Tricks for Expats

Published Mar 11, 2024

Make Your Expat Journey Easier!

Embarking on a journey to live abroad as an expat is both exhilarating and challenging. Whether you are moving for work opportunities, cultural immersion, or a change of pace, becoming an expat requires careful planning and adaptation. From embracing new cultures to overcoming language barriers, the expat life is full of adventures and adjustments.

Welcome to your unofficial surviving and thriving abroad playbook! Whether you’re considering making the leap or already have your bags packed, here are some handy tips and tricks to ease your transition and transform your expat journey from “meh” to “yeah!”

Start Learning the New Language Before Moving

Let’s face it: as an American, English may be the only language you’re fluent in. That’s totally fine, considering it’s the most widely spoken language worldwide.

However, mastering a new tongue will help you better understand and adapt to the culture and make your everyday life much easier. Plus, locals are usually impressed when foreigners attempt to speak their language!

Before you move, you can take online courses, use language learning apps, find a local tutor, or join language exchange groups to practice conversational skills. Immersing yourself in the new language before arrival will also help you gain confidence and make connections with locals.

Research the Area You Want to Live In

Before making the big move, research and understand the area you plan to move to. Think about the cost of living, climate, healthcare, transportation options, safety, and access to essential amenities. You don’t want to end up in a location that doesn’t align with your lifestyle and needs.

Read books about the country, watch documentaries, and research online to learn about your new home country’s culture and customs. Doing prep work will give you a better idea of what to expect and help you prepare accordingly.

Find Forums to Ask Questions or Find Others Moving to the Same Area

Person looking at computer

Connecting with fellow expats can be a game-changer when navigating a new country. Join online forums and social media groups, or attend local expat meetups to exchange tips, ask questions, and build a support network.

Websites like or InterNations offer valuable insights and connect you with expats already living in your desired location, giving you a firsthand account of life abroad. Not only will you gain practical advice, but you’ll also forge meaningful friendships with like-minded individuals going through similar experiences.

Prepare Financially by Saving Extra Money

You don’t want to be broke in a foreign country! Before your move, research and understand the cost of living in your new home country. Remember that you may have to pay for visa applications, work permits, health insurance, housing deposits, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Start setting aside additional funds while living at home to cover these costs and any unexpected financial emergencies. Consider opening a local bank account in your destination country and familiarize yourself with currency exchange rates to make smart financial decisions. It’s better to be financially over-prepared than underprepared when moving to a new country.

Stay Flexible and Open-Minded

Culture shock is real! No matter how much research you do, differences will always catch you off guard. You must remain adaptable and open-minded when navigating cultural differences, learning new customs, and dealing with unexpected challenges.

Remember, what may seem strange or even rude in one culture can be entirely normal in another. Instead of judging or trying to change things to fit your Western ways, try to understand and embrace the cultural differences around you. You never know — you may even learn something new about yourself in the process.

Learn the Local Laws and Customs

map with passport and sunglasses laying on top

You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Every country has unique laws, customs, and social norms you must respect and abide by. Some countries may have strict regulations on public behavior, dress codes, or alcohol consumption. Knowing these laws will help you stay out of trouble and gain the respect of locals.

Researching local customs will also show your interest in the culture and help you avoid unintentional faux pas. For example, if you’re moving to a country known for its punctuality, be sure to be on time for meetings and events. If it’s customary to take off your shoes before entering someone’s home, follow suit. When in Rome, do as the Romans do!

Decide What to Bring with You

When packing for your international move, don’t bring everything but the kitchen sink. Think about what you truly need and will use and leave behind or sell the rest. If you plan on staying for a few years, consider shipping some of your belongings to save on buying new items.

Remember that some things may be more expensive or unavailable in your new country. Bring essential items like clothes, toiletries, and any necessary medication. But don’t go overboard — you can always purchase what you need after arrival.

Stay Connected with Loved Ones

Person on FaceTime

Moving abroad doesn’t mean losing touch with loved ones back home, so don’t be a stranger. Stay connected with friends and family through video calls, emails, or handwritten letters.

Set aside time to nurture these relationships, and don’t hesitate to lean on your support system when feeling homesick or overwhelmed. They’ll be a source of comfort and encouragement during your transition.

At the same time, try to build new relationships in your destination country. These new friendships will enrich your expat experience and provide a sense of belonging in your new home.

Prioritize Self-Care and Well-Being

Amidst the excitement of starting a new chapter abroad, don’t forget to prioritize yourself. Establish a routine incorporating exercise, healthy eating, and downtime to recharge.

Explore local parks, join fitness classes, or indulge in wellness activities that promote balance and happiness. You’ll feel more grounded and able to handle the challenges of living in a new country.

Shipito: Bring a Piece of Home to You

You’ll never know homesickness until you’re living abroad. Your new home may show you new cultures, traditions, and perspectives, but you’ll still crave a taste of home sometimes. One question that expats often ask is, “How can American expats buy from the U.S.?”

As an international parcel forwarding service, Shipito makes it easy for expats to shop from U.S. websites and have their purchases delivered to their doorstep, no matter where they are in the world. We can help you stay connected to your favorite brands and products while living abroad, making the transition to a new country a little smoother.

Shipito Services

person handing over packages

Shipito offers various services to meet the needs of expats living abroad.

  • International Package Forwarding: We forward packages from U.S. retailers to international destinations, allowing you to access products not readily available in your new country.
  • Assisted Purchase: We offer assisted purchase services, allowing you to shop from U.S. websites that don’t accept international payment methods.
  • Shipping Calculator: With our shipping calculator, you can estimate the costs of shipping and choose the most cost-effective shipping method for your packages.

At Shipito, we make expat international shopping easy, affordable, and hassle-free.

Make Your Expat Journey Easier with Shipito

Becoming an expat is a thrilling adventure filled with endless possibilities. By following these tips for expats, you can navigate the challenges of living abroad with confidence and ease.

And if you miss a little something from home, remember that Shipito is always there to bring it to you. With our services, you can have the best of both worlds — your new home and a piece of your old one.

Sign up for a free account today and start making your expat journey easier.

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